Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finding Focus

I'm having a hard time focusing on work. I've got a babysitter coming 4 hours a morning now but it seems to take my brain longer than usual to dive into writing. My brain used to skip around effortlessly from task to topic. Nowadays, I'm lucky to stay on track and finish anything.

Then, when I'm in "mommy mode" after the babysitter leaves, I have a hard time focusing on nothing but baby. I keep desperately wanting to jump on my computer to do one more thing, send one more email, check one more Web site, write one more article. I feel frustration welling up inside me and want to explode.

I take a deep breath, let it out slowly, then try to play yet another game or read one of her books for the umpteenth time. I try to breathe out the work brain and bring in the mommy brain. But I always feel I'm only halfway present for each role I play during the day.

Anyone else feel like that?

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Parenting Road Ahead.....

This week I truly felt like I have only just begun on the road to parenting.

Seth wound up in the ER of the hospital one night, and it brought up emotions I didn't know I had as a mom. He woke up with a fever very suddenly, compromised breathing, and a barking cough that sounded something like a seal. He was hysterical, and I nearly broke out in tears.

Two hours later, we learned he has croupe...thankfully nothing serious, but challenging until it goes away....and contagious. So, he's been home from school most of this week. Keeping a sick, irritable four year old engaged is surely not an easy feat.

After we got home from the hospital and I went to bed at 4AM, I started to think about the road that lays ahead. This is surely just the beginning of the challenges we may face with Seth, and I need to get tough. He is an active child, and I could easily envision him on the football team as he gets older.....and I have to be prepared for injuries, etc.

I am so grateful that he is in good health, otherwise, and my heart really goes out to those who are dealing with children with serious illnesses and challenges. I have always felt that way....but getting a small dose of the hospital experience with Seth made me that much more conscious of the fragility of life....even a childs. Being a 40 something mom, especially, we expect to one day lose our parents, but we don't think of losing our children.

So....while I'm a bit of a zombie this week from the lack of sleep and anxiety, I am hugging Seth a little bit tighter, and am more grateful than ever to have my little buddy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

House Rules

There's a new mom in town.....and hopefully a new four year old in our house. I had a meeting this week at Seth's nursery school to discuss how we might get him to listen better. He had come home with a note from his teacher one day which prompted this discussion.

One suggestion was to create Rules of the House....and put them in writing. While I was initially resistant to the idea, as I thought about it more, it seemed like we didn't have much to lose. And, being a writer, it's not much of a stretch for me to put pen to paper.

So....I found a really cute pig notebook and gave it to Seth, and he and I together created pages of "rules" for acceptable behavior. And, surprisingly, it seems to have had a strong, positive impact almost immediately. He is very conscious now that we have particular expectations of him and that there will be definitive consequences.

He actually now comes home from school spouting new rules he wants to include. It's kinda fun and gratifying to have a truly constructive mommy 'n me project, and we're grateful to see him responding so that life at home can be a bit easier....if not perfect....for all of us.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother Load

I saw a very cute Off Broadway show in NYC this week called Mother Load. Very cleverly written by a mom of two and a third on the way, it was a one woman piece about the trials 'n tribulations (and everything in between) of parenting.

Full of was at the same time quite poignant.....and makes you realize how as moms we try to do so very much. Even before we become a parent, we have expectations of how we think IT will be...and how we think WE'LL be. As much as one tries to anticipate, babies don't come with manuals, as they say, and we learn as we go along. And, no two moms parent the same.

Some days turn out better than others. Some nights we get more sleep. Some days our decisions feel right on. Other times, we fly by the seat of our pants, and that's okay too. That is the point. There is no right or wrong. And, if we strive for perfection, we will lose our sanity in the process. (Not that I don't try.)

With Mother's Day approaching, I hope, if even for a day, we can cut ourselves some slack and recognize that moms are people too....with our own hopes, dream, imperfections, etc. My beloved mom used to say -- everyday should be Mother's Day.

Seeing Mother Load made me stop and pause about how very fast our children do grow up. And, with all the empty nester coverage on television these days, I feel like I should cradle Seth in my arms to keep him young forever.

Despite my frustration with him at times.....he is my little buddy.....and while flowers and dinner would be nice on Mother's Day....I'd actually be grateful for a big hug and a poop in the potty. Reaching that milestone would certainly be cause for celebration...and it would be something I'll never forget!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Shot in the Arm!

Seth had his four year physical yesterday, and while the report was, thankfully, a good one, he got a shot in his of the required vaccinations for his age. I felt so badly for him. It took me back to my childhood and reminded me of how much I hated needles...and doctors, for that matter. (Some things don't change.)

Seth actually likes his pediatrician, though I'm not sure if he will after this visit. He has gotten shots before, but it's been some time, so he forgot what it's like. I, however, didn't forget. It's amazing how, as a mom, you feel your child's pain and want to immediately alleviate it. I would have gladly taken the shot for him, if that was an option.

This is only the beginning of his route to good health care, so there will be other shots in his future.

At least he got his favorite cherry lollipop afterwards, and it is amazing the healing power of sugar. Suddenly, his arm didn't hurt much anymore.

Baby's First...Second Bruise

I know that the more mobile she is getting, the more likely she'll get banged up and bruised. Baby's first bruise happened when she opened the bottom drawer on a heavy cabinet and her leg got trapped under it. The bruise was already coloring her thigh when I was able to extricate her leg.

This week, she was crawling around the fireplace, stood at the hearth and pow! She stumbled, tumbled and slammed the side of her face on the hard tiles. She did that breath-holding, red-faced grimace before she finally exhaled with a loud wail. I felt terrible because I was doing something in the kitchen and wasn't watching her when she was playing by the un-baby-proofed hearth.

She stopped crying in within a minute but still has a little shiner.

Baby also ate rocks and dirt this past weekend. Were that the only thing I was going to have to worry about with her...

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